Is there a difference between an ordinary motorcycle helmet and a chopper motorcycle helmet?
You bet there is! That difference is one of simple aesthetic style. A chopper is a flashy motorcycle and it is all about looking cool. There’s a reason that Butch answers Fabianas question, Whos motorcycle is this?
With the report, Its a chopper, baby. In Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Motorcycles are cool, but choppers are cool defined. As such a regular motorcycle helmet can look cool (and there are lots of cool ones out there) but they are for protection, second for the style.
A chopper helmet is all about style with protection taking a back seat if it is considered at all.
In their search for the ultimate style and cool factor in a helmet, chopper owners will try a number of different designs, almost none of which offer any real protection at all. The most common chopper motorcycle helmet design is the German helmet, a design patterned after the helmets worn by German infantry soldiers in World War Two.
The German style helmet has been a popular one since the late sixties when the look was first made popular by members of motorcycle clubs like the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels.
Over the years it became quite common to see bikers with that style helmet, but they have always been traditionally the gray color originally issued by the German military of that era. Today riders can find this style of helmet in various bright colors, often with unique airbrushed designs.
Other designs in chopper helmets have emerged, but none has yet reached the popularity of the German helmet design and it is doubtful whether they ever will.
The German motorcycle helmet has become synonymous with the concept of the chopper helmet and the other styles (such as the turtle helmet which looks like a small beanie more than anything else and the polo helmet which resembles an Equestrian riding or polo cap) have a long way to go if they are to top the popularity of this tried and true design. It could happen, though.
Part of the cool factor in chopper helmets is the ability to find something that no one else has, to be completely unique if possible. This has led to more and more outlandish helmet and attire choices being made by chopper owners. They don’t all dress like bassist Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but a lot of them do.
When seeking a chopper motorcycle helmet that is different from the familiar German helmet design, riders should remember that many of those helmets sold as a novelty item are so because they do not meet Department of Transportation (DOT) or Snell Foundation safety standards and it is illegal to sell them as actual motorcycle helmets.
In most states, this means it is illegal to wear them as such as well.
Choose an exotic or outlandish helmet if you like, but the best route to go is with one that is DOT approved to avoid legal issues and severe head trauma in the event of a crash.